Art and Life

A Bouquet of Questions, By Steve Obidi

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How?
How long can I endure the smouldering fire
that gobbles my chest like a burning tyre?
How did our luscious green turn umber
and our brilliant white made sombre?
How come our zestful eagle can no longer fly
and our white horses cannot their strength apply?
How did our verdant garden of lovely blooms
become a plot yielding noxious mushrooms?
What?
What fortune did the Omniscient Hand
withhold from this multiflorous land –
pampered, from north to south and east to west
with treasures and talents now turning to waste?
What went wrong between her birth cry
and this time her rivers are running dry?
What did her sires and midwives neglect
that’s robbed her of growth and common dialect?
Why?
Why are there not many voices asking why
or, at least, waxing their sobs into full blown cry?
Why do vampires sip from the cauldron of power
while men of ability play draft at critical hour?
Why do men of goodwill restrain their frown
watching every crook heartily given a crown?
Why inundate us with “where do we go from here?”
when nobody said he’s going anywhere?
Who?
Who unleashed this dire catastrophe on us…
we or some faceless, alien and irresistible force?
Who is so callous to bleed haemorrhaging victims,
bracingly stymieing the sweat of rescue teams?
Who is so foolhardy to contrive a parochial plot
that disrupts our equilibrium, plundering our common lot?
Who now will compose a new song singable by all –
a new song that will make us, once again, walk tall?
Where?
Where are the noble ones of our age
when charlatans fill every page?
Where else in the world is such irony –
of a people so rich and poor, so grave and funny?
Where is the sagacity of our solons and solicitors?
Where is the erudition of our scholars and tutors?
Where is the agility of our famed gatekeepers
and the deftness of our commissioned snipers?
When?
When is the waking day
when the beaten shall be stirred with hooray?
When shall the elite manfully rise up
and dump their venal cup?
When shall the youths stand strong,
sobering up, discard their drinking song?
When shall Benue and Niger again blend
and float the land to a joyful end?
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